Nigeria’s president sounds warning to perm secs over corruption and incompetence

By on 13/11/2015
Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

Nigeria’s new president warned the government’s new permanent secretaries and the whole civil service that his administration would not tolerate corruption or incompetence, according to local media reports.

At a ceremony in Abuja swearing in 18 newly appointed permanent secretaries yesterday, president Muhammadu Buhari congratulated them on their appointments, but added:

“I must, however, sound a note of warning. It is within public domain that ministers as chief executives of their ministries as well as other government officials involved in policy formulation and implementation often complain of the intolerable levels of incompetence, indifference or even suspected sabotage by some of the top echelon of the civil service.

“Even where permanent secretaries, in some instances, are exempted from these accusations, they are still responsible and liable for failing to provide the required leadership, control and direction.

“This administration will not condone any excesses, indifference, incompetence, and corrupt practices in any form. Permanent secretaries are therefore advised to note these words of caution and disseminate them to all civil servants accordingly.”

He said that his government had been voted into power “by popular mandate to implement clearly articulated programmes and policies to re-generate and re-invigorate the national economy” with the main focus being “to create employment for the youth, fight corruption, tackle insecurity, and diversify our economic base with emphasis on agricultural development, solid minerals exploitation, as well as provision of infrastructural services.”

Permanent secretaries, he said, should regard their appointments “an emergency call to duty” at a time when Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and top oil producer, is facing its worst economic crisis in years, triggered by falling crude prices and chronic oil theft.

Buhari said the new permanent secretaries had been appointed following a more rigorous selection process than used by the previous government “entailing vigorous screening of candidates’ past records, potential and capacity for holding the office, integrity, honesty and sense of commitment.”

He said: “I believe this new selection technique will have, hopefully brought up to light some of the best, dedicated, patriotic and hardworking civil servants to hold this position of trust.

“It is my hope that your subsequent conduct and performance will not prove this Administration wrong.”

The new appointments are Ayotunde Adesugba, Taiwo Abidogun, Dr. Bukar Hassan, Wakama Belema Asifieka, Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Sabiu Zakar, Obiageli Phyllis Nwokedi, Aminu Nabegu, Alo Williams Nwankwo, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, Ogbonnaya Innocent Kalu, Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa, Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, Bassey Apkanyung, Louis Edozien, Ugo Roy, Bamgbose Olukunle Oladele and Alhaji Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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